Breaking through prejudices
‘The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.’ John 3:2
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Luke 11:14–28
Our Lord was indeed a teacher sent from God, and we who know his character are ready to wonder that he was not generally received. But his enemies who hated him had many plausible objections to discourage some from hearing and to divert others from attending to what he said. They rejected the supposed place of his birth, Nazareth, concerning which those who were not diligent to search out the truth might easily mistake, as his mother had lived there before he was born and returned while he was very young (John 7:52)—this stumbled Nathaniel for a season. They pretended that he broke the Sabbath. They urged the character and meanness of his followers, and so on. We may therefore wonder that Nicodemus could break through so many prejudices. We are here informed what prevailed on him—the works which Jesus did led him to think that, notwithstanding all his brethren could say, he must be an extraordinary person, for none could do such things except God was with him. He concluded that the works of Christ, such as to raise the dead, necessarily required a divine power. His enemies acknowledged them beyond the power of man, but would have thought he did them by the assistance of Satan. But this black, malicious charge was confuted by a single question. Is Satan divided against himself? How could the great enemy of mankind assist, if he had been able, in producing such wonderful acts of compassion and bounty? He concluded that as our Lord’s miracles were wrought in confirmation of his character and doctrine, God would not have owned him by his power unless his doctrine had been true, and he a teacher sent from him as he professed. We are to apply this reasoning to our known circumstances.
Now my search is at an end,
JESUS, source of excellence!
Now my wishes rove no more!
All thy glorious love reveal!
Thus my moments I would spend,
Kingdoms shall not bribe me hence,
Love, and wonder, and adore:
While this happiness I feel.
SERMON: JOHN 3:1–2, NO. 2 [1/6]